Do you struggle with loving yourself? Maybe even with liking yourself? I feel like I have struggled with this from a young age. I have always been a nice, empathetic person, but I never felt like I had any natural talents. I wonder, it is easier for the people who are good at everything to like themselves? Or are they trying to be perfect because they also struggle with liking themselves?
“I wondered how that felt, to really like yourself. And I wondered why some people didn’t like themselves and others did. Maybe that’s just the way it was.”- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz, p. 74
Do you think that’s true? Is that just the way it is? I don’t think so. I think it is easier for some people to like themselves. I also know there are people who like themselves too much. But there are so many people who struggle with low self-esteem. I know I’m not the only one. When you combine this with mood disorders it can be very easy to put yourself down. It is important not to. When M.J. was younger I remember telling Dan that I should have more positive self-talk. I don’t want M.J. to think it’s normal to say, “I’m so dumb.” Or “I can’t do anything right.” Or “I suck at everything.” I knew I would not be setting a good example for my son. Dan told me, don’t think about setting a bad example for M.J. Think about the fact that it’s not healthy to talk to yourself that way. I think I have gotten a lot better at having positive self-talk. I mean I still struggle with OCD and anxiety so I still overthink everything. And I still struggle with depression so I will still struggle with low self-esteem sometimes. But, it’s not anywhere close to what it used to be.
Two women the other day told me they were turning 49 soon. I thought they both looked a lot younger. I hope I look as good as they do when I’m 49. One of them told me she feels so much better now than she did in her 20s and 30s. I was thinking I feel a lot better mentally than I used to. I have finally started taking care of myself. I have been going to therapy and taking medication. I’m still trying to find the balance between self-care and selfishness. I know self-care is essential to be a good mom, but I also don’t want to be selfish. I’m not sure what the balance is. But I have (mostly) stopped feeling guilty when I have time to myself. I have learned to have grace with myself and my son.
It is important not to put yourself down. Would you tell your child they are stupid, worthless, ugly, a failure at life? Of course not! So it is not okay to say this to yourself. What would you say to your best friend if they told you they were feeling like a bad mom? Would you say, “Yes, you are a bad mom.” Of course not! If you wouldn’t say it to anyone else, don’t say it to yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. Remember to have grace with yourself. Remember to see yourself the way God sees you. It is not selfish to take care of yourself. Self-care is essential to be a good mom. If you are not a parent, self-care is also essential. Your mental health is just as important as physical health. Take care of yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. You are loved.
“You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way.” Song of Songs 4:7 NLT